You know, it’s hard to find interesting news in the media today. It’s all so boring, you have to scour the internet for hours to find something you can write about or discuss. I usually don’t watch the news or read it in fact, because it’s boring and negative. And did I mention: BORING. So I found myself skipping all the news about the EU referendum because it’s over and done with now, there’s no going back, unfortunately, and quite frankly it’s driving me nuts. I think everyone needs a little bit of good news once in a while but the news doesn’t seem to be showing much of it.
So I found this which I want to talk about. It’s about the importance of gratitude. Now, this reporter raises some good points:
Lots of us have plenty of reasons to be grateful yet still focus on the negative aspects of life. I think this is true. I think that we all focus on the negatives because negative things and events pose a chance of danger. We are a cautious bunch of people and we stay careful because it’s evolutionary. Caution increases our chances of survival. The brain alerts itself to threats and therefore takes attention away from the positive aspects of life. Everyone around us is negative, and that causes us to be negative too. But we have plenty of reasons to be grateful – a house, WiFi (!), a loving family, food and water (and coffee). We have everything we need but we choose to think about the negatives. Which causes us to think about more negative things – it’s a vicious cycle. But if you think about positive things, guess what? You’ll keep thinking about positive things. If you’ve had a really good day, you don’t tend to think about negative things. We never take notice of the things we should be grateful for because they are things we take for granted – things that will pretty much always be available.
We need to take stock and be grateful for what we already have. Carrying on from the previous point, this is what I want you all to do: write a list of all the things you are grateful for and post them in the comments. Because of the internet, and the abundance of things that are available on it, we have this culture of always wanting more because we think that what we have isn’t enough. There is so much that is instantly available to us with the click of a button, and this leaves us feeling entitled, with no need to “thank”. When you buy something on the internet, you don’t have to say thank you to it; that’s just plain silly. But then we never learn to say thank you and mean it to a real human being.
I feel we’re all caught up in our own bubbles and forget the importance of respecting and appreciating each other. She’s right, today’s population is so self-centered that they have no time to think about anyone else or how they’re feeling. Being grateful for someone else is an underappreciated attribute in the modern world. But, more than that, saying thank you, or “I appreciate it” to someone else makes you feel better. People do say thank you, though, I’m not saying they don’t, I’m saying that sometimes we don’t mean it. Have you ever said thank you to a sales assistant, or to the person who made you coffee, or kept holding the door while you passed – it’s polite to say thank you and we’ve had a lot of practice saying it. So much that it might have lost its meaning. It’s a blind phrase. If you say it and mean it, it makes the other person feel acknowledged. Acknowledging someone else will result in them liking you because they tink you’re a nice person. Someone who is seen as ungrateful is seen as a bad person. If I did a favour for someone, and they didn’t say thank you, I’d be pretty upset and annoyed.
Showing gratitude is a positive psychological characteristic that can contribute to a person’s well-being and can improve your mood. Gratefulness is associated with increased energy, optimism and empathy. You feel better/ happier when you say thank you to someone else, and they feel the same. I think that a positive mood is also associated with high self-esteem. Because you are grateful for what you have means that you compare yourself less to other people – rather than being resentful or jealous of other people’s achievements and things, you become appreciative. You become happy for them. When you feel grateful for something, you think more positively which can make you feel lighter and happier – there’s nothing to be frustrated or resentful about.
What are you grateful for?